Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day

Frank Bidart, as Mary Gordon so aptly said, sets the bar high. The two read together last night, 4th of July, and to be purposely trite, they created their own fireworks. Mary Gordon's story about a divorced woman and the cleaning girl who becomes her personal assistant has a perfect roundness, the projections of the woman, a writer, on to the cipher of Dillie, the girl, mark the writer's own movement through loss to re-inventing her own life. In the process the very nature of writing is put into question in a most compelling way.

Something is happening with Frank Bidart's poetry. Known widely as a writer of long poems, dramatic poems, book-length poems, Frank Bidart has turned to lyric poetry, and the power of his work has become more concentrated, so that one feels the impact of his work like a body blow. In a brief piece on Marilyn Monroe, Bidart writes: "what you came from is craziness, what your/ mother and her mother came from is// craziness, panic of the animal/ smelling what you have in store for it."

More to come.